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Many nations around the world use nuclear power, and the solutions these countries have pursued in isolating their nuclear waste underground have varied. In addition to obviously different geographical constraints, each country has at least some differences in potential repository rock types. Each type of rock, in turn, has certain advantages and disadvantages with respect to nuclear waste containment.
To facilitate the sharing of knowledge about the isolation qualities of the various rock types—as well as any other information related to nuclear waste isolation—ESD's Paul Witherspoon began a series of worldwide reviews (starting in 1991, and updated and revised every 5 years since then) describing the progress made by various countries around the world in their nuclear waste isolation programs. This series of reviews has been published in conjunction with workshops held at LBNL involving countries represented in the latest worldwide review. These workshops have generally focused on emerging technologies that would aid in solving crosscutting nuclear-waste-isolation problems. In 2006, ESD published the latest issue in this series, Geological Challenges in Radioactive Waste Isolation: Fourth Worldwide Review.